Welcome to my month-long #WaterPoemProject, Poetry Friday friends.

It’s Day 5. All week, we have been writing in response to prompts about water.

If you’re new to this project, please read the Introduction and FAQ. Or you can watch this video of me describing how to participate. It’s on the YouTube channel Authors Everywhere.

For #WaterPoemProject regulars who are new to Poetry Friday, each week a kidlit blogger hosts poetry-related links and posts from around the kidlitosphere. This week’s host is Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. (Thanks, Tabatha!) Still confused? Renée LaTulippe has a great post about our weekly poetry party.

Poet and educator Margaret Simon put together a video for today’s prompt.

Margaret’s poetry prompt is: The Taste of Water

Are you new to tanka poems? The tanka is a traditional Japanese form related to haiku. Find out more about this form at Tanka Online.


Your task is to draft a “Taste of Water” tanka before the end of the day tomorrow, Friday, March 27, 2020. Alternate ideas: try a tanka on any water-related subject, or write a water poem filled with as many taste words as you can think of.

If you’re doing the #WaterPoemProject with a group, be sure to share or post your rough draft, read other people’s poems, and cheer for their efforts. Or leave your poem here, in the comments.

Poet and educator Margaret Simon lives on the Bayou Teche in New Iberia, Louisiana.  She blogs about poetry and life on the bayou at Reflections on the Teche.


#WaterPoemProject Series Posts:

Project Introduction
Prompt 1: Irene Latham, The Language of Water
Prompt 2: Elizabeth Steinglass, What Would a Raindrop Say?
Prompt 3: Linda Mitchell, Found Haiku
Prompt 4: Shari Green, Fogbow Fibonacci
Prompt 5: Margaret Simon, The Taste of Water
Prompt 6: Heather Meloche, The Shape of a Wave
Prompt 7: Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, A Water Memory
Prompt 8: Laura Shovan, Rainy Day Opposites
Prompt 9: Kathryn Apel, Silly Solage
Prompt 10: Buffy Silverman, A Watery Home
Prompt 11: Kara Laughlin, Frozen Fog
Prompt 12: Debbie Levy, Jump into a Limerick
Prompt 13: Joy McCullough, What Are Water Bears?
Prompt 14: Linda Baie, Frozen Water Skinny
Prompt 15: Chris Baron, The Hidden World of Water
Prompt 16: Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Water Wordplay
Prompt 17: Susan Tan, The Sound of Water
Prompt 18: Mike Grosso, Waterplay!
Prompt 19: R. L. Toalson, Wishing Well
Prompt 20: Margarita Engle, Ode to the Shore
Prompt 21: Faye McCray, Poem in a Bubble
Prompt 22: Meg Eden, Surprising Connections

Please support the #WaterPoemProject authors by buying their books from your favorite independent bookstore.

31 responses to “#WaterPoemProject: Day 5, Margaret Simon”

  1. Linda Mitchell says:

    Margaret, listening to you and the wind chimes is soooooo soothing. I love hearing you share poems out of Bayou Song on video. This one was perfect for today’s prompt. I spent the day away from water. So, I had to get home, watch your video and draft from a long ago memory.

    salt water taffy
    why would anyone eat that?
    ocean water stingsmy tongue
    raw when I tumble
    into waves…but Grandpa
    says try it….mmmmmm. YUM!

  2. Tongues filled with iron;
    dipping lips cherish water
    where nature has been

    living – these unknown forces
    lost to imagination

    — I went sort of traditional Tanka (5-7-5-7-7) but was intrigued by the notion in the explanation of “… Japanese syllables are shorter than English language syllables, resulting in shorter poems even though the syllable count is the same.”


  3. mia says:


    breath short and ragged
    i fill my glass in earnest
    clean, cold, crystal clear
    what is simple is thrilling
    when my thirst is quenched

  4. This challenged me, but here goes. Thank you all for doing this project.


    Sun drenched afternoon
    like a sharp slice of lemon
    floating and drifting
    citrus sour, bottomless,
    a lake of blue lemonade

  5. Linda Baie says:

    Loved hearing your voice & those chimes, looking behind you to the GREEN, Margaret. It is a wonderful post in Laura’s water challenge.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      One benefit of sheltering in place is all of the videos. We get to see what it’s like where our friends live and Margaret lives in a truly beautiful place.

  6. These poems in the comments are wonderful (As was the one you read in the video, of course), but they’re making me thirsty! I’m so happy you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone to record these videos, Margaret. It seems like such a natural fit for you.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I agree, Michelle. It’s wonderful to have Margaret introducing the prompt and seeing the bayou.

  7. Kay Jernigan McGriff says:

    I love that you are doing this series you are doing with kids. I haven’t been writing along this time, but I am following the prompts to inspire me. I hope many kids are enjoying it, too.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks, Kay. I haven’t written yet, either, but I’m hoping to start soon and catch up. Maybe for National Poetry Month.

  8. Laura, today I decided to play in the splashy waters of your #WaterPoemProject. A Taste of Water appeared to be a tricky prompt for me also. I ended up using a photo of the marshland nature preserve I took as winter was leaning into spring. My husband was prompting me to capture a flock of birds springing up from the water into the blue sky (a rarity these days on Long Island). While you can’t see the photo (it will be on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), I will share two tankas.
    Tanka #1
    birds dip, swishing down
    nature’s cooling elixir
    exiting upward
    tonic splashes reeds
    spring slurps of life
    Tanks #2
    sweet soda pop fizzle,
    glistening bird bath water
    refreshes winter fowl
    amidst splashy gathering
    springtime reawakens earth

    • I’m glad you took the challenge, Carol. I think it stretched your writing and made some unique imagery appear, like tonic splashes reeds and spring slurps to life. I’ll look for the image on your social media.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I left you a note on twitter about the “soda pop fizzle.” As I’m reading this today, it’s the word “tonic” that jumps out at me. Thanks for sharing your poems!

  9. Mary Lee says:

    It’s so good to see and hear you! Your warm, sunshiney, green, breezy teche is so inviting!

    Here’s my tanka. We had some serious flooding after last weekend’s 3″ downpour. Our neighbor’s yard was completely under water. My iris by the back fence were swimming. So my taste is a little…different.

    muddy milk chocolate
    mucky frothy hot cocoa
    puddle of gravy

    flood waters look delicious
    you won’t be tricked by their smell

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Hi, Mary Lee. I’m sorry to hear about the flooding. That can be very scary. I like the turn your poem takes in the last line.

  10. Tabatha says:

    It feels like March is National Poetry Month, too! Very cool that you could put this together so quickly, Laura, and nice job, Margaret! I am super intrigued by Janice’s response and its “sharp slice of lemon.”

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Yes! Originally, I was going to do the project in April, but I know educators and families need content now. The prompts have been just as creative as the poems.

  11. Amber Hadley says:

    burbling brook
    fleecy blush of pink blossoms
    lilting bird song
    peace tendrils in marrow
    treasure for the pocket of my mind

  12. […] Would a Raindrop Say? Prompt 3: Linda Mitchell, Found Haiku Prompt 4: Shari Green, Fogbow Fibonacci Prompt 5: Margaret Simon, The Taste of Water Prompt 6: Heather Meloche, The Shape of a Wave Prompt 7: Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, A Water Memory […]

  13. […] Would a Raindrop Say? Prompt 3: Linda Mitchell, Found Haiku Prompt 4: Shari Green, Fogbow Fibonacci Prompt 5: Margaret Simon, The Taste of Water Prompt 6: Heather Meloche, The Shape of a Wave Prompt 7: Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, A Water Memory […]

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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